Re: Atemi and Aikido
Cliff -- I don't view this as extracurricular training really. Yes the "standard curriculum" of your particular flavor of Aikido is the major emphasis. But if we are to keep this art dynamic and relevant as a martial art (as opposed to a philosophically driven exercise routine) we do need to create complete students.
This does not mean they need to break coconuts with their palms or understand the nuances of sambo. It does mean the fundamental attacks outlined previously, should be understood and utilized in training. As stated they don't have to master these techniques but they do have to understand what they are and use them regularly. Throw a slow straight punch followed by a half speed uppercut, and nage's fudoshin often crumbles into a pile of retreating confusion (and I'm talking yudansha here).
Kyus should certainly be taught and occasionally drilled on the fundamentals of hand strikes and kicks. To master these techniques a student would have to drill on one's own time, but a regular revisiting of the basic principle of striking surface alignment and body mechanics, both the attacking and parrying thereof should occur. Most dojos have people who have cross trained, hopefully including the chief instructor, who could review these basics on a rotating schedule.
"It is really a big challenge and requires a lot of commitment, and you are basically training to make your Aikido good for situations Aikido was never meant for, i.e. combat sports and drunken fights."
Not my intent to make this a sport form, but drunken jackass defense is certainly part of what this is used for; stupid drunks qualify for "least amount of required force" in my book. If you are circling your opponent with your hands up, you are sparring and not doing Aikido. When uke is chasing you, slightly over extending, because nage's is deftly leading uke and controlling distance/opportunity, when they have to turn to follow your lead and are thrown on the turn, then we are having a fine Aikido moment here.
In 2013 you are significantly more likely to be attacked by a jab-cross-hook compo than someone running at you, their hand over head ready to shomen uchi you into the next century. Train to the principles, practice the classical techniques, but also incorporate current martial methodology to keep the art relevant.
Last edited by Hilary : 01-01-2013 at 01:35 PM.